Reed's Reckoning(3)

By: Ahren Sanders

The words catch me off guard and I gasp. “Do you think I’m holding him back?”

“No, he loves you. But it’s obvious y’all aren’t together, but he has a life in front of him too.”

I lean into her and nod my head in agreement, knowing she’s right. She’s raised me since my parents were in a fatal car crash when I was fifteen. She’s the only family I have left, and she shows me every day how important Davis and I are to her.

“Okay, I’ll enjoy this weekend. Then I’ll have a serious discussion with Luke. He needs to be happy.”

“Gracious, girl, he will never be far away.”

I move against her, knowing that in my mind this is her way of telling me to let Luke go.


Fucking, finally; peace and quiet. This is the perfect day to throw some lines in the water and enjoy the beach. I have been doing physical therapy and rehab for months. My shoulder feels better and my knee is healing great. I’m avoiding not only my family for the day, but also my trainers. I need a fucking break.

My mind flows through the memories of the last few years. Being drafted, the instant fame, the gridiron, proving myself, all of it.

Fucking amazing wide receiver, I was living the life. I had everything I’d ever dreamed of, providing for my mom and sister after the draft, a huge house near the beach, fucking endless women who wanted me. But what happened when the star went down? One hit—that’s all it took—one hit, to dislocate my shoulder and tear my ACL.

“‘Cuse me. Do you haf a fish I can see?”

The words break me out of my memories. I look down to see a beautiful boy looking at me with huge blue eyes. His darks curls and tan skin hit me with a wave of familiarity.

“Fish?” he blubbers again, pointing to my two fishing poles.

I shake myself out of my stupidity and answer. “No, buddy. No fish yet. If you hang around, I might have something to show you.”

I reel in my line and see my shrimp is gone. I make a point of showing this little boy how to bait a hook. Looking around, I wonder where the hell his parents are. A man runs towards us screaming, but the little boy doesn’t move. I cast the pole and set it in the sand.

The man gets to us and grabs the little boy in his arms. “DL, you can’t run off like that. You scared your mom and me to death.”

“I wanted to see fish.” He points to my line in the water.

“I know, little man, but next time wait until one of us is with you.”

When the man looks up, my pulse races. I’ll never forget his face. It’s the same face that has haunted me for years. The face of the man holding Arianna Williams right after she broke my heart. Luke Adams.

He recognizes me too. Not for the mega-millionaire football player, but for the college friends we once were. Or at least I thought we were.

“Say goodbye to this nice man, we need to go back.” Luke says picking up the little boy.

“‘Bye.” He says waving at me.

Then it hits me. Faces side by side, these two look nothing alike. My heart races faster. “Yeah, buddy, sorry I didn’t have a fish for you.”

He shrugs at me and smiles the most beautiful smile and my world rocks. It’s the smile in my dreams; deep dimples in each cheek and a shine in his eyes staring back at me. I can’t speak. My mouth goes dry and my stomach drops to my feet.

“Thanks, man.” Luke walks away towards the hotel behind us. He stops to pick up a towel and beach bag and a woman runs to them franticly waving her arms. She takes the little boy and buries her head in his shoulder. Luke puts his arm around her and guides her to the walkway. He says something in her ear and she goes still. Ever so slightly, she looks back at me and my world stops again.

I catch her stare briefly before she turns and practically runs up the stairs. My heart beats so fast I have to sit down. Now I know why the little boy’s eyes captured mine, it was like staring in a mirror.

When the team doctor told me about my injuries and confirmed I was out for the season, the first person I thought of was her. Even after all the time that passed, her face came to mind. What the fuck went wrong?

I remember the night of our second date and allow myself to smile at the memory. Even though it hurts to think back to that time in my life, I can’t deny that Ari held a huge piece of my heart.

“Reed, why are we at a park? I thought we were going to dinner?” She looks at me confused from the passenger seat.

“We are; I brought dinner with us.” I get out and walk to open her door. When she is out of the car, I go to the trunk and bring out the bag I packed earlier.

She watches me closely and looks around nervously. I reach over, take one of her hands in mine, and lead her to a spot near the lake. There are a few people around, but mostly we have the area to ourselves. Letting go of her hand, I set up the blanket and unpack the food.

Hot Read

Last Updated


Top Books